Rams' injury-plagued O-line faces biggest test yet vs. Cowboys




 

It's very likely that no position group in the NFL has suffered more injuries than the Los Angeles Rams' offensive line. The unit has been absolutely decimated by injuries, losing several key starters and even backups for extended periods of time.

Brian Allen, Logan Bruss, Coleman Shelton, Tremayne Anchrum Jr. and David Edwards have all missed time due to injuries, with Shelton, Anchrum, Allen and Bruss all out at least this week. Jeremiah Kolone could be the starting center on Sunday against the Cowboys, which isn't great news for Los Angeles.

In fact, this matchup with the Cowboys couldn't be much tougher for the Rams' offensive line. Dallas ranks first in the NFL with 13 sacks and ranks second in pressure rate (32.7%), according to Pro Football Reference. The Rams' pressure rate, on the other hand, is only 10.6%, worst in the NFL.

Based on ESPN's pass block win rate metric, the Rams rank 19th in the NFL with a rate of 56% - a surprisingly high number for a team that has seemed incapable of blocking anyone lately. The Cowboys' pass rush win rate is a league-best 56%, so it doesn't get any better than Dallas right now.

The star at the center of it all, of course, is Micah Parsons. He already has four sacks and nine quarterback hits, coming into this week as the betting favorite to win Defensive Player of the Year. He leads the Cowboys with 22 pressures and ranks second in the NFL in that category. But the Cowboys also have DeMarcus Lawrence (16 pressures) and Dorance Armstrong (12 pressures), so they can get after the quarterback with multiple guys.

Joseph Noteboom, who has allowed a league-high 20 pressures, will be a target for Dallas' pass rushers, and we're likely to see Parsons match up with both him and Rob Havenstein often. But also expect Parsons to move around like he always does, blitzing up the middle against an inexperienced interior of the Rams' offensive line.

This won't be an easy matchup for Los Angeles, and it's the exact opposite of what this team needs right now. Stafford will need to get the ball out extremely fast to beat Dallas' rush.

Story originally appeared on Rams Wire

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